The fourth annual Black Comix Arts Festival is underway across several venues in San Francisco this weekend. It’s like comic-con, but instead of celebrating superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonderman… think more along the lines of Black Panther, Powerman or Storm.

Comics, graphic novels, films and, of course, cosplay events featuring African-American artists and writers, are all on tap. The event is part of the city’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebrations.

Love demos some of his work at the de Young museum.
Love demos some of his work at the de Young museum. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)

Sacramento-based comic book illustrator Robert Love is one of the featured artists at the festival.

“When I was growing up there weren’t that many superhero characters to look up to,” says Love. “That made me create my own.”

Now Love illustrates for comic book publishers like Dark Horse and Image Comics. But Love says, even today, minorities are still grossly underrepresented in the comics industry. That’s why it’s important for him to be a role model for young black artists.

Thunder is a superhero character Love created with his brother.
Thunder is a superhero character Love created with his brother. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)

“I’m just trying to inspire young minority artists and let them know that anyone can do what I’m doing,” says Love. “This is what Dr. Martin Luther King fought for, equality everywhere and in every industry.”

And what does Love think of the new hyped-up Black Panther movie released by Marvel this weekend?

“I’m very excited; the movie looks hot,” says Love. “I just want to see more of it.”

Another character created and drawn by Love.
Another character created and drawn by Love. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)
Black Comix Arts Festival Celebrates More Than Just Black Panther 14 January,2018Tiffany Camhi

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